Chipping away at projects.

With the exception of our weekend in Annapolis we’ve been heading down to Branford each weekend hoping to take care of some projects before the really cold weather sets in. Things are going well, giving me hope that we may be able to avoid working on Pegu Club in January and February.  Dare to dream!

So far we’ve been able to glass in another thruhull and we’ve also been diligently working on our electrics.  Because we like to keep things simple, working on the electrics hasn’t been too bad (well, except for the fact that we don’t know much about electrical work).  Pegu Club is a strictly 12 volt system, and with the exception of engine-related items, the only other wiring she has is for running lights, interior lights, mast lights, instruments, a cigarette lighter charter, our Nature’s Head fan, the bilge pump, and the VHF.

The plan was to remove the old wiring and replace it with new, and also get rid of our circa 1977 fuse panel so we could install a new 12V breaker panel.  The cigarette lighter looked like a fire hazard, and we are replacing our VHF with one that has an AIS receiver, so it was easy enough to pull out that wiring.  Our old instruments also went because we’ve upgraded to the B&G all-in-one display.  So far so good.  Now it was time to pull out the wires for the interior lights and the running lights.  Hold on there, skippy. Not so much.The wires wouldn’t budge, and we couldn’t see where they were running because they were mainly behind the interior liner.  We experimented with fish tape to try to see where the hold up was, and that only got us so far.  Finally a post on the Bristol Owners Facebook page revealed that the old wiring was likely stapled in place with copper staples.  No wonder we were stuck!

We had two choices – live with what we have, or rerun everything in a new place. Closely inspecting the existing wire, we didn’t see any sign of corrosion.  We had replaced all of the interior, running, and mast lights with LED’s which had a much lower draw than the previous incandescent bulbs, so ultimately we decided to just live with the old wiring.  We did replace all of the wire nuts with proper heat-shrink connectors, however.  We are also going to replace all of the mast wiring, but that won’t be too difficult because the mast has been unstepped and we can see the length of the run.

In the meantime work continues on the new engine project.  One of our boat neighbors is also getting a new engine, and a few weeks ago he mentioned to us that he had removed all of the wiring and hoses so that the yard guys would simply need to lift the engine out, saving him a few hours of labor expense.  At $95/hour, it adds up quickly!  We hadn’t even thought of that, but it was a great idea, so we spent part of an afternoon doing the same thing.  The following weekend we saw that the cabinet had been removed to allow better access for removing the engine, so we knew that it was only a matter of time before Thumper was gone.

It sure looks different without the cabinet, which is temporarily residing on the other side of the main cabin.

On Friday I got the call that Thumper was removed, so we drove down on Saturday intending to scrub the engine bay and bilge, and paint it with Bilgekote.  Well, we scrubbed everything clean and then decided to skip the Bilgekote.  It was a purely cosmetic task and for us it just wasn’t worth the effort. The engine bay is now white enough – no need to guild the lily.

Left to right – Before, during, and after.  What a difference!

As for the bilge, at some point in the past there had clearly been an oil issue so it was a greasy mess.  Thanks to copious amounts of Krud Kutter, it’s significantly better now!  No need to wear elbow length rubber gloves any more before reaching in.

Yep, it’s been a productive off season so far, and it’s been unseasonably warm.  Those nice temperatures are coming to an end unfortunately, so hopefully our good progress will continue because the clock is ticking!

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